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East Coast Hurricanes Threaten Ten-Fold Increase In Property Damage

With coastal construction accelerating and continuing high hurricane activity predicted, storm damage to property could rise from an average of $5 billion a year in the 90's to $50 billion a year by 2030. This outlook is reported in a recent USA Today series on the building boom along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Hurricane activity built up in the 90's, and meteorologists expect the higher level to last for another 20 years.

Construction in hurricane-prone coastal areas places a heavy cost burden on taxpayers through federal disaster relief programs, beach reconstruction, and disaster loans. Hurricanes are not the only threat beach property owners face. They are exposed to rising sea levels, beach erosion, inland flooding, and evacuation gridlock. Since 1929, sea levels have risen 10 inches in New York City and 18 inches in Galveston, Texas, according to the article.